Austin Nason heads into Oktoberfest weekend at La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway in an all-too familiar position. After finishing runner-up in the ARCA Midwest Tour championship battle one year ago, he once again heads to the Wisconsin oval locked into a tight battle at the top of the championship standings. As a result, the Roscoe, Illinois driver has his sights set on beating just one car, the No. 47 of Casey Johnson.
Nason leads Johnson by a single point heading into Sunday’s season finale as both drivers look for their first series championship.
Nason’s only win so far this season came in the return of racing to the Milwaukee Mile back in June. While a win on Sunday is always the goal for his team, his mind is dead set on beating just one driver.
“There’s only one car we have to beat on Sunday and that’s the No.47 car (Johnson),” Nason said. “That’s all we’re really worried about but we’re there to win. It’ll definitely be the No.91 car (Ty Majeski), he’s been fast all year. They found something and they’ve really hit on it, but I think we’re getting there. We’re definitely looking forward to getting up there and showing our strengths.”
Nason and Johnson have raced together in the month that has passed since the most recent ARCA Midwest Tour race at Dells Raceway Park, coming at the Speed51 Super Select at Lucas Oil Raceway on September 7. The two drivers have traded the points lead back and forth all season, and it will come down to 200-laps on Sunday.
“Me and Casey (Johnson) have been battling it out all year,” he said. “We actually talked about this at IRP, we said if one of us would just have our game on and one of us would be checked out, but we both kind of fell off at the same point. We’re both definitely looking forward to getting back up here and getting our game on. I think both of us have concentrated on getting it and I think we both have enough respect for each other where if it came down to the 200 to decide who’s going to win it.”
Nason was involved in a tight battle for the Midwest Tour championship last year before coming up just short of Dalton Zehr in the title race. The chance for redemption has Nason excited to get back to La Crosse for this weekend’s 200-lap finale.
“It’s one we’ve been looking forward to, we’ve got a little bit of a point lead going into there but we’ve been good there,” Nason said. “We went up there and tested and we showed some good speed, so I’m excited to get back up there and get to racing.”
Oktoberfest weekend features four days of racing with 19 divisions and 1,200 total laps of racing, including Friday night’s Trickle 99 and Sunday’s ARCA Midwest Tour finale. The party atmosphere in and around the track makes the event a fan favorite in the upper Midwest.
“It’s definitely some of the best racing, you get a little taste of everything,” he said. “Sometimes on Friday night we’ll get close to 60 Super Lates to show up and qualify just for one race, which is pretty crazy. They only take the top twelve, so usually it’s a pretty crazy night on Friday night. You get a good mix of different classes all weekend long, so it’s definitely a good show for the fans.”
Nason’s weekend will begin on Friday with the Trickle 99, followed by ARCA Midwest Tour duties on Saturday and Sunday. While it will be time to chase after the championship during the weekend, you can still see him enjoying the camaraderie of what is Oktoberfest race weekend.
“You’ll catch me out there Wednesday and Thursday night, otherwise it’s back to business Friday, Saturday, and Sunday,” he said. “We’ll go out there and have some fun and get our partying out of the way and then get down to business the rest of the weekend.”
If you are unable to make it to Wisconsin for the 50th Annual Oktoberfest Race Weekend, Speed51 will broadcast all four nights of racing live on Speed51.com, including the ARCA Midwest Tour finale on Sunday. Click here to purchase your pay-per-view tickets for Oktoberfest.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51.com State Editor (IN/MI) – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo credit: Speed51.com